Andy Karnes: Domestic

The Alpha Gallery is pleased to present our first solo exhibition of paintings by Andy Karnes, opening on May 6th and continuing through June 1st.  Karnes’ newest body of work embraces the deceptively mundane imagery of the domestic interior.  Tables, chairs, windows and stairwells strike us with an instinctive sense of familiarity.  But many of these scenes are based on artificial constructs.  Karnes builds small-scale models of his interiors and works from direct observation of the model.  The result lies somewhere in between the familiar and the foreign; the natural and the staged.
In each case, Karnes balances the artist’s control over what happens on the canvas with elements of uncertainty.  As he states it, “through the process of editing, manipulation and reconstruction I surrender components of my work to chance, thus creating unpredictable marks and unanticipated imagery that both reinvigorate the surface of the painting as well as provide an alternative reading of the recognizable and ambiguous nature of our surroundings.”

Karnes received his BA from St. Mary’s College and his MFA from Boston University.  He has exhibited his work in numerous cities in the U.S., as well as Ireland.  Karnes was included in Sight Specific at the Concord Art Association and Boston Young Contemporaries at BU, both in 2014.  He received a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in 2015, among other honors.

Karnes lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

Stephanie Pierce / Radiant Welter

While the subjects of Stephanie Pierce’s paintings are mundane—a simple room, a window, a plant, a radio—they are distorted, fragmented, and strewn about in a manner that picks away at their seeming simplicity. As a verb, “welter” means to move in a turbulent fashion. As a noun, it signifies confusion, a chaotic mass, something almost too much to handle. In Pierce’s work, people, objects, light and shadow all seem to be subject to some outside force. 
Within this state of constant shifting, there is a hint at materiality. Things come into being but are altered by the passage of time, the changing light as shadows grow long. With meticulously plotted out applications of paint pushing and pulling between figuration and abstraction, Pierce’s work conveys the sensation that materiality becomes elusive the minute we try to pin it down.
Stephanie Pierce received a B.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston and a M.F.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle. She has exhibited her work widely throughout the U.S. and is included in numerous collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Boston Public Library. In 2014, Pierce received a Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, among many previous honors. Since 2012 she has been a professor of painting at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. This is Pierce’s second solo exhibition at Alpha Gallery.